Russia In Talks for Plastic Logic Stake

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is in talks to take a stake in British display screen maker Plastic Logic, two sources said on Monday, a move that would help Russian plans to bring Western expertise to its fledgling tech industry.

One of the sources, who both come from within state-owned technology group Rusnano, said the firm was discussing making a significant investment in privately owned Plastic on condition it relocates the next phase of its development to Russia.

“According to the agreement, the British company will build a plant here in Russia to produce its plastic high-tech items and we’ll give them money for that,” the source told Reuters.

Rusnano’s director of international affairs, Alexander Losyukov, told Russia‘s Ekho Moskvy radio station that the group was looking into Plastic Logic, without giving further details.

“Our managing director is in London right now and he is working on the project,” Losyukov said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has placed investment in the technology sector at the heart of ambitious plans to modernise the oil and resources-dependent economy.

Rusnano, headed by post-communist privatisation programme architect Anatoly Chubais, has received $10 billion of state funds to ensure the sector generates $30 billion of annual sales by 2015.

Plastic Logic makes screens that could be used in the fast growing electronic book market. It was founded in 2000 in the technology research hub of Cambridge, UK, but has its main manufacturing facility in Germany.

It has received around $200 million in investments to date, and is owned by a string of venture capitalist groups.

A spokeswoman for the company could not immediately be reached by Reuters for comment. Rusnano declined to comment. (Reporting by John Bowker and Maria Plis; Editing by Alex Lawler)